Sustainable Development Goals


Keio University Hosts Japan-EU Inter-University Exchange Project Symposium “Implementation and Practice of the Japan-EU International Collaborative Degree Programs”

November 08, 2022
Keio University

On Friday, October 7, 2022, Keio University hosted an online platform-building project symposium, “Implementation and Practice of the Japan-EU International Collaborative Degree Programs.” Professor Shinnosuke Obi of the Faculty of Science and Technology, served as coordinating moderator for the event. The symposium was attended by 101 participants from around the world, including Japan and countries in the EU, with the majority involved in higher education.

Event Breakdown
1. Opening remarks
Professor Motohiro Tsuchiya (Keio University Vice President)
Mr. Eiji Watanabe (Director, International Affairs Division, Higher Education Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology [MEXT])

Following opening remarks by Professor Motohiro Tsuchiya, Vice President of International Affairs at Keio University, an invited participant, Mr. Eiji Watanabe, Director of International Affairs for the Higher Education Bureau, MEXT, delivered a speech.


2. Session 1: Implementation and Practice of the Joint Degree Program
1) Lecture: “Implementation and Practice of the Joint Degree Program”
David Crosier, European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA)

In this lecture, Mr. David Crosier of the EACEA, representing the European perspective, presented on the history, characteristics, and approaches to maintaining the quality of the Joint Degree Program (JDP). Specifically, Mr. Croiser talked about how a series of reforms to the higher education system in Europe involving the “Bologna Process” and the Erasmus Mundus actions resulted in developments for the JDP. He remarked on the fact that its characteristics include the development of master’s degree programs, the promotion of student, faculty, and staff member mobility, and the development of standards for quality assurance. He also went on to explain the conditions that make the JDP a success, and the relationship between the JDP and quality assurance.


2) Presentations by representatives of European Universities coordinating JDP with Japanese Universities
Ⅰ. Professor Valérie Schurdi-Levraud, University of Bordeaux, INRA
Introduction of the University of Tsukuba International Joint Degree Master’s Program in Agro-Biomedical Science in Food and Health

Case Study 1: GIP-TRIAD
Professor Valérie Schurdi-Levraud of the University of Bordeaux, who is also a member of the Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), introduced GIP-TRIAD, a collaborative master’s degree program between the University of Bordeaux in France, the University of Tsukuba in Japan, and the National Taiwan University. GIP-TRIAD is an international and cross-disciplinary two-year program that integrates agricultural and medical sciences, and aims to develop highly skilled professionals who can tackle global issues of food and health. Professor Schurdi-Levraud presented on the background to the program’s establishment, which began in 2017, shared examples of certificates of completion, and went into operational issues including the coordination of academic schedules, student recruitment, transferring credits, tuition, and instructing students.


Ⅱ. Professor Dr. Christoph Peters, University of Freiburg
Introduction of International Collaborative Program in Comprehensive Medical Science between Nagoya University and University of Freiburg

Case Study 2: International Collaborative Program in Comprehensive Medical Science
Professor Christoph Peters of the University of Freiburg in Germany gave an overview of the international collaborative PhD program in advanced medicine and medical sciences between the University of Freiburg and Nagoya University. In addition to going into specific details about the program (length of study abroad, number of credits for lectures/exercises/practical training, requirements for completion, etc.), he also talked about joint research fields and results, providing a report on the research environment and an overview of studies currently being conducted by international students from Nagoya University on “immunological research on carcinogenic sarcomas” and “ovarian cancer research.” Professor Peters also touched upon the International Research Training Group (IRTG), which is currently being designed.


3) Discussion
Professor Shinnosuke Obi (Keio University)
Mr. David Crosier
Professor Valérie Schurdi-Levraud
Professor Dr. Christoph Peters
Professor Hideki Kasuya, Nagoya University, Interuniversity JDP Council of Japan

In the discussion, which was moderated by Professor Shinnosuke Obi of Keio University, Professor Hideki Kasuya of Nagoya University commented on the first session’s lectures, recognizing the importance of flexibility and trust between partner universities as the keywords in implementing JDP. He also posited that scholarships and financial aid resources for program implementation are important, offering the example of GIP-TRIAD.


3. Session 2: Quality Assurance of the Japan-EU International Collaborative Degree Programs
1) Lecture
Mrs. Sophie Guillet, High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (HCERES)

In this lecture, Mrs. Sophie Guillet from the HCERES in France presented on the topic of “Quality Assurance of the Japan-EU International Collaborative Degree Programs.” First, she reported on the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the Higher Education Area (ESG), and the content and objectives of the ESG-compliant HCERES’s quality assurance. She then took the explanation a step further, providing a detailed breakdown of the evaluation process and criteria.


2) Discussion
Professor Shinnosuke Obi (Keio University)
Mrs. Sophie Guillet, HCERES
Professor Balázs Trencsényi, Central European University, HIPS
Professor Taku Shinohara, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, HIPS
Professor Shigeki Nakauchi, Toyohashi University of Technology, IMLEX
Professor Vincent Fremont, Ecole Centrale de Nantes (ECN), JEMARO
Professor Norihisa Miki, Keio University, JEMARO

During the discussion, moderated by Professor Shinnosuke Obi, participants debated the on implementation and quality assurance of collaborative international degree programs, with participants from three programs (HIPS, IMLEX, and JEMARO) selected for the EU-Japan Inter-University Exchange Project (IUEP EU-Japan) . A lively exchange of opinions took place, which addressed questions on how to overcome the differences between Japanese and European universities (e.g. philosophy, educational methods, operational funding), challenges in evaluation and quality assurance (e.g. curriculum/program development, credit recognition), and how Japanese universities can approach quality assurance in higher education in the European region.

Event Date2022/10/07